ShopTalk Brisbane 2015 Kicks Off This Week

ShopTalk Brisbane 2015 kicks off this Wednesday 29th April in Brisbane with a panel discussion around logistics and operations. Joining the panel will be Super Retail Group’s General Manager of Supply Chain, Gary Carroll, Black Milk Clothing’s Projects and Commercial Operations Manager, Tanya Fraser and Lorna Jane’s Executive Manager of Stock and Supply Chain, Jonathan Ingle.

Shoptalk is a series of events held quarterly in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland where retailers and business owners can gather to network and share vital knowledge. This week’s event will provide a rare and valuable opportunity for attendees to ask the experts in supply chain how they best handle operations and logistics in their business.

Super Retail Group controls a number of multichannel retailers in Australia and New Zealand, including Rebel, Amart Sports, Super Cheap Auto, Ray’s Outdoors, BCF, FCO and Goldcross Cycles. Power Retail caught up with Gary Carroll ahead of the event to get some insights into Super Retail Group’s own supply chain operations.

What fulfilment solution does Super Retail Group use?

We currently use two different methods for fulfilling online orders – (1) our Auto and Leisure divisions fulfil orders via our Distribution Centres (‘DCs’) and stores, with the location for fulfilment being driven by availability of stock and the type of order (e.g. click-and-collect orders are processed at stores to meet same-day pick-up); (2) our Sport’s division has trialled a ‘dark store’ concept for selected products, where all relevant orders are processed at the dark store. We have a dark store as part of one of our Melbourne DCs. The benefits of a dark store are the consistency of process, packaging quality, and delivery timing. The risk is that stock is not available in the dark store to meet the customer order, in which case we would need to locate the stock at a store and deliver it to the customer.

What delivery models work for Super Retail Group and how does it work to reduce delivery timeframes?

The answer really depends on the availability of stock and the customer’s location. Given we have DCs in multiple locations around Australia, our preference is to use these DCs to fulfil the order as these are typically picked and despatched on the most timely basis. We also have daily courier pick-ups at each DC so pick-up times are more reliable.

Is any of Super Retail Group’s fulfilment automated?

We use SAP to automate the workflow and our DCs have conveyor systems to speed up fulfilment times, with picking activity being automatically assigned using our warehouse management system. Picking and packing of orders is still done manually. Our SAP system also provides real-time visibility of stock at all locations (stores and DC’s).

You can find out more about the supply chain operations of Super Retail Group, Lorna Jane and Black Milk Clothing by heading along to this week’s Shoptalk Brisbane event, to be hosted at Cellar Bar at The Alliance Hotel on April 29th, starting at 6.15pm. Please note that numbers are limited and anyone wishing to attend will have to RSVP on the group’s meetup page here.

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